https://german.stackexchange.com/questions/6248/how-do-i-say-the-following is a good example of a question not wanted, but often asked on this site.

As Takkart stated this site is not a "translation service". should we tolerate such questions (especially as "First Question"), moreover the answering and repeated asking of these?

on "Stackoverflow" there is a "review"-feature for the "First Question" of a new user. would it make sense to introduce a similar service here to reduce the amount of unwanted/non-helpful questions?


2 Answers 2


From our FAQ as it stands today we have quite a wide scope of questions we may ask here only limited by the following:

  • ... for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation.
  • ... answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.

These "finer points" of course need a closer definition, which has been done in the past here on Meta, from discussions in chat, and from comments to closed questions. We ares till in beta, which means we should discuss this, to be able to better define the scope of our site in future versions of our FAQ.

However, there seems to be little to no debate on that we do not want mere translation requests without a context, and we do not want to give answers that could have easily been looked up in any dictionary. We also frown upon question that do not show minimal research efforts. Such questions have been closed in the past, and will be closed in the future.

Note that a closed question should not stop us from making it better. Closed questions will be added to the reopen queue and eventually get reopened after we had improved it.

New users will need some help to get an idea on how this site works, which questions will be a good fit, and which questions are better not asked here. That is what comments are for. We do also have the review queue like all other Stack Exchange sites where users who know how the site works are welcome to review posts of new users.

  • meaning summa summarum, that we do not tolerate questions, that may be easily googled, but we appreciate translation questions in general, as far as they are showing an effort in research and complexity?
    – Vogel612
    Mar 1, 2013 at 12:05
  • 1
    Yeah, translation requests can be asked if they have at least some sort of not easy to solve issue in them, or if they are of interest to a wider audience. My personal opinion regarding Google is, that it should be us to appear on the first page, when searching for something. Therefore I would not put "easy to google" as an exclusion criterion, but there are different opinions on that.
    – Takkat
    Mar 1, 2013 at 12:31
  • The system won't let me edit this: I don't think you mean 'Every closed question will be reopened again, when we could improve it to meet our standards". My suggestion: "Any closed question can be reopened if we improve..." (wenn-> if and not when)
    – PiedPiper
    Oct 16, 2017 at 9:15
  • @PiedPiper here you go. Thank you for spotting :)
    – Takkat
    Oct 16, 2017 at 9:39

GLU is not here to provide translation "service," but is here to provide reasonable translation HELP. That is, after the questioner has exhausted other resources such as dictionaries and Google translate. If those sources provide "multiple" answers that confuse the reader, this site is here to help out the person sort them out. In posing a question, the OP should provide context and a "rough draft" translation attempt of their own.

Here are some guidelines I suggested on another post (in a different context).

All other things being equal:

1) Shorter passages are preferred over longer ones.

2) English to German is preferred over German to English (except for fine language nuances in German).

3) "Here is my (self-worked) translation. Is it correct/appropriate?" is preferred to "Please translate this for me" (without any effort on my part).

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